When it comes to style, I’m a Jackie O meets Audrey Hepburn meets the contents of a J.Crew catalog kind of girl. I love classic lines and simple colors with the sparsest of jewelry. I’m the perfect candidate for the capsule wardrobe. The truth is, when it comes to fashion, I am everything that Matilda Jane is not. So I find it a little ironic that this week I helped a friend with a party that was centered around this whimsical, bright, pattern mixing, ruffle covered clothing line. Me, the one who wears the same black and gold dress to church every week. (I really need to stop doing that, people are starting to notice)
I like to think I’m always open to learning new things, so I happily agreed to help out with the party. I also adore the woman throwing it, so I gladly sat alongside Coree with a pair of scissors in one hand and a glue gun in the other, making paper decor for the big day. I even hand painted a sign with the name of this season’s clothing release… a pretty and simple “Hello Lovely”. Ain’t it sweet looking?
On the day, dark clouds filled the sky and threatened rain, but we soldiered on with getting ready and the party started at four without a hitch. (Except for the one giant balloon that I accidentally let fly away. Sorry to whoever that lands on) The event was half trunk show, half fashion show and a whole lot of cookies. While mom’s browsed and preordered this season’s clothing line, their daughters waited in the back of the house for the fashion show to start. One of the highlights of this event, was the presence of the founder of Matilda Jane (Denise DeMarchis) and two of her designers/friends. I was hanging out with them as we were getting ready and they were so giddy over the little girls wearing their designs… pointing out which designs had been their favorites and reminiscing together. Their attention to detail and the knowledge of their designs took me aback, to be completely honest, and really impressed me.
The passion these woman had for their work was amazing…and it reminded me of the way I talk with my photographer friends. Let me ask you a question… do you want to feel exhilarated at work? Try designing something and see it bought to life and appreciated by someone else. It’s such a unique experience. Creating for others is intoxicating, and seeing that same spark in the MJ designers made me appreciate their work in a way I could never have before. It was as if their passion made me overlook the mixed patterns and see MJ clothing for what it is – pieces of someone’s heart made into clothing. I may never buy or wear Matilda Jane, but I have learned to love the story and the heart behind the company. During the party, I was running around doing other things for Coree and making sure everyone was comfortable… but I did keep my camera slung over my shoulder and took a few snaps of the day – nothing much, but I couldn’t leave the camera at home! After the majority of guests had arrived, we all gathered outside to watch the sweet little girls walk their favorite outfits past their watching mommies and the very women who designed the outfits themselves. The shuffling feet and shy smiles didn’t carry quite the same feel as fashion week, but it was unbelievably endearing. I bet Naomi, Cindy and Claudia never got as many ooooh’s and ahhhh’s as these girls did!
Besides getting to work alongside Coree again (one of my favorite things), meeting Denise, Kayla and Sam was definitely my favorite part of the day. Sitting and talking with them inspired me to keep pursuing the need to create for others and reminded me to keep a strict attention to detail. At the end of the day, these women are a tribute to the power of a good story and distance hard work and perseverance will take you. I’m so thankful that Coree pulled this event together and asked me to help her… doesn’t inspiration come from the strangest places at times? (And isn’t Sam the cutest thing? She’s the second from the left.)